The Courier has collected the following tributes to Barbara-Jo McIntosh of Vancouver’s Books to Cooks. If you’d like to add your voice, please post a comment on the Courier’s Facebook page and we will add it in.
Lynn Zanata, book club member, cooking class participant
All day I’m go, go, go and when I stepped into Books to Cooks it was such an oasis for me. Barbara-Jo is a beautiful host. It was like she was bringing you into her home. She made sure you were relaxed and enjoying yourself. And she really wanted the chefs themselves to do well. She really believed in them personally.
There’s no one who does it like her.
John Bishop, chef/owner of Bishop's restaurant
We've been dear friends for many years and worked together in the hospitality industry. Her store was such a rock. A cookbook author needs all the help they can get. Barbara-Jo seemed to always dig down beneath the surface. It wasn't just selling another book. She really tried to get to know the chef. She hosted some of the world's best chefs and gave people an opportunity to meet them. She's an incredible person. We'll miss Books to Cooks.
Nathan Fong, Fong on Food
It’s heartbreaking. It’s so sad that consumers look for the lowest price these days and through the digital age rather than support small businesses and personal service. Over the years I have taught cooking classes there and was always amused because she has an induction stove. I showcased Asian food, flipping my woks which always cut the heat off! I never got used to cooking induction! Barbara-Jo’s store will be missed but she will re-invent herself in no time.
Christine Coletta, co-owner of Okanagan Crush Pad
One of my favourite experiences at Books To Cooks was co-hosting a fundraiser with Nathan Fong at the store in the mid-90s, one of the first for the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation. There was always such a warm and inviting feeling to the store. Not surprising as it mirrored the personality of Barbara-Jo, who has been a key figure in helping develop Vancouver's vibrant culinary scene.
Harry McWatters, president of TIME Winery
Barbara-Jo made a major contribution to the food scene in the Lower Mainland and British Columbia. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors.
Sujinder Juneja, communications and industry relations manager, BC Hospitality Foundation
It was at Books to Cooks that I discovered my favourite print magazine, Art of Eating, which opened my eyes, heart and mind to the passionate details of food culture. I was a regular customer to the store, seeking back issues to complete my collection. When the magazine went online-only, I didn’t go to the store as much. On my most recent visit I came upon An Appreciation of the Age of Wine by local wine expert Sid Cross. Truly, there is something special about a book or magazine, something handheld, tangible, that can travel neatly within a backpack to the airport or on one’s bedside table, free from the distraction of glaring screenlight and constant social media notifications.
Evelyn Funk, patron
I’m sad. However, in her words she said, “I cry for what has been but smile for what will be.”
Dorothy Budden, via Facebook
Barbara-jo, beloved innovator, passionate chef and author, adored by many and respected by all. Jurgen Gothe was always a big fand and I don't know anyone who had a disappointing time at B-J's Books to Cooks. Remember checking out Books to Cooks for B-j 1000 years ago, when I was in London. Our city is a little greyer but just wait... shel'll be back! Thank you B-j!!!
Colleen Tsoukaias, via Facebook
Barbara-Jo, I would love to see you do a blog on cook book literature. There are many who could contribute. Especially important to profile Vancouver as it is our city. Sad to see you leave and thanks for all your years of being there.